When you workout and drench your clothes with sweat, does that mean at that point you were purely burning fat during your workout? Does sweating automatically mean fat loss? For some people, if you are not sweating during your workout, fat is “not crying”. In other words sweat equal automatic fat loss. Is this really true?
The fact that you are sweating, does not necessarily mean that you are actually burning fat. Let me explain my reasoning. Imagine for a second that i ran a Texas 5K marathon in the summer month of August at 5mph (try not to pay attention to this speed. No reasoning behind it). Now, what if i run the same race, at the same speed in the winter month of January in Texas (assuming this is a very ice cold winter). Do you think i will sweat more at the end of the August race or the January race? You guessed right. I should sweat more during the August race of course. Why? Simple! The August environment is hotter. The sun overhead is blazing hot and body has to cool itself down by sweating.
Next question. Are you going to burn more fat during the August race or during the January race? Well, there is no way to tell without doing further tests. The fact that you are sweating more does not mean you are burning more fat.
This is what science tells us. In order for you to move and think, your body needs to produce energy of some kind. In order words, your body is a machine that needs to be fueled constantly even when you are sleeping. The cheapest and quickest form of energy for your body is from carbohydrate-like foods including bread, pastries, beans, starchy fruits and vegetables like bananas and peas, etc. The most expensive and hard to use form of energy is from the fat stores in your body.
The only time your body is going go to it’s fat stores to burn fat, is when there are no storage forms of carbohydrates to be found. At this point, your body needs to work hard to make fuel out of fat because it needs to survive. Remember the body is always in survival mode. One good example of when your body has no other choice tgan to burn fat is when you exercise on an empty stomach in the morning.
The point of this article is that, your fat loss cannot depend on sweating alone. Sweating is simply a cooling and excretory mechanism of the body. Your fat loss in this case is simply going to depend on how intense your workout is. The harder you have to work, the quicker you drive your body toward needing to get to its fat stores for fuel and thus the more fat burn you will burn during your workout. So if you think about this well, i might be able to burn more fat after my January race than after my August race since my body has to work harder in the first place to keep me warm.
There are so many other reasons to support my take on this. Naturally, some people sweat easily, some medical conditions can cause people to sweat easily and some people naturally find it hard to sweat. So it makes no sense to use sweating as a way to measure fat loss during workouts.
My conclusion? Sweating during workout does not automatically mean you are burning fat. It makes no sense. From now on, forget sweating! Get more intense with your workouts!
WLS, FNS (NASM)
WLS, FNS (NASM)
4 Comments Add yours
Ok Coach, I hear you and this makes sense. But doesn’t sweating sometimes indicate that you are really pushing your body??? On cold days, people tend to try to wear warm clothing than they would in warm weather. Every other thing being equal, two people with the same health conditions, propensities to sweat, same weather and dressing sweating differently would mean one is putting more effort than the other right???
You are so right. A lot of people automatically associate sweat with fat loss. This is not the case at all. So many other variables must come into play to reach such a clear cut scientific conclusion. My point here is that sweating could but not necessarily indicate fat loss. Also sweating could but mot necessarily indicate intense workout. Hope that answers your question. Thanks for the feedback
Thanks a million Coachkay .
Whenever I see those sweaty pictures on Facebook I used to ask myself this question. Now I’m convinced. Keep educating us…No pain no gain.
Thank you for taking time to read through. I appreciate your feedback